October 01, 2018

Guide to Cape May and Wildwood, New Jersey: 10 Fantastic Things to Do

Cape May Jersey Shore Beaches


NYC is absolutely opulent in the spring and fall...  but unfortunately, the summertime here can be quite a drag. Schepping on hot subways and sweating through your favorite shirts is just not most people's idea of a good time. It's no wonder they flock by the multitudes to the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore, and other exclusive beach locales. I've always wanted to take a summer jaunt to one of these places, but somehow it just wasn't in the cards.




So when some friends of ours who are New Jersey natives told us about Cape May, and how it was always one of their favorite vacation spots growing up, we jumped at the chance to experience it for ourselves! The four of us planned a long weekend in Wildwood and Cape May, and it was so much fun to experience it with friends.

So first off- we'd never been to the Jersey Shore before, which Cape May is technically a part of. Of course, the extent of my knowledge of it was the TV show, which I've never even seen, but we all know the stereotype. I'm happy to report the Shore has so much more to offer. Our friends said that there are definitely areas that are represented accurately by the show. But Cape May came off as classy to me, and Wildwood was just good ole' boardwalk fun.

Also, I loved how easy it was to get here from NYC. Now I can see why people spend summers or weekends here! We plan on making it an annual trip.


Where to Stay- Candlelight Inn


I found this cute spot on Airbnb, miscalculating how far it was from Cape May proper. I thought it would only be a short walk. Well... Cape May is about a 20 minute drive from here. But don't let that put you off! Honestly this was one of the happiest vacation mistakes I've ever made, because otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to experience Wildwood's epic boardwalk (more on that later.)

Second of all, it's literally the cutest bed and breakfast I've ever been to. There were so many thoughtful little touches like cookies and wine on the porch at 5pm every day, and cream sherry in your room for you to enjoy.


Click here to get $40 towards your first Airbnb Stay!!


Candlelight Inn Wildwood New Jersey

Candlelight Inn Wildwood NJ

Bed and Breakfast New Jersey



Porch Sittin'


I mentioned daily wine and cookies above... well this is what they called 'cookie o'clock' at the Candlelight Inn. It was especially nice to do this right after we arrived... the perfect way to relax after an afternoon of driving. We sat with our wine and cookies on the porch for an hour or two, just watching the day go by.

Candlelight Inn Wildwood New Jersey


Experience The Wildwood Boardwalk


Old time nostalgia. Magic. The smell of cotton candy and popcorn. People flinging themselves hundreds of feet in the air on daredevil rides.  The Wildwood boardwalk is like all of your carnival dreams come true and more.

The boardwalk is stretch of coast that totals 38 blocks... 38 BLOCKS!!  These are divided into 3 piers filled with rides, waterparks, games, food, and shopping. The scale of it and endless possibilities for every kind of fun you can imagine is just mind-boggling.  After seeing just one pier you think "Wow, sooo amazing!!!!" and spend 2-3 hours there easily. Only to realize there's so much more to see and do!

When we came into town, we rested at our hotel for a bit, then walked down at night. The whole boardwalk was alight with neon lights, all begging you to come take a look. I left my camera at the b&b, but none of us could stop every few seconds to take snaps/ stories of the glittering retro signs.

Wildwood BoARdwalk neon lights

Boardwalk Wildwood New Jersey

Boardwalk Jersey Shore




Ride the Giant Wheel



This was the first ride we went on, and it was beyond amazing! It's 156 feet tall, which gives you an incredible view of the piers. I recommend you do it at night... there's really nothing quite seeing all the rides glow in the darkness from your high place in the sky. Makes you feel like you're flying over the park!

Boardwalk Wildwood NJ



Eat frozen custard


This was one of our friends' urgent recommendations. So we really couldn't help but follow suit and I'm so glad we did! I'll start by saying that I'm not a huge fan of soft serve ice cream, but this is something wholly different. It's creamy and dreamy in a way DQ wishes it was. Kohr's was their pick, and it's my pick for you as well. I can vouch for both the mint chip and vanilla flavors. Both were awesome!!

Kohr's Ice Cream Jersey Shore

Wildwood Boardwalk Jersey Shore




Checking out the retro motels of years past


On the drive to and from Cape May, we went by what seemed like an endless strip of retro, 50's style motels. One right after the other, they all looked like an Instagrammer's fantasy come to life. It's a great way to kill an hour or so, and a lesson in the history of the area. They built all these motels around the same time in the 1950's, to try and make it the 'Miami of the north.'  Hoping to bring in massive amounts of tourists and cater to their styles and tastes at the time.

The motels are all around Wildwood, but we saw a bunch driving up and down Atlantic Avenue.



Lounging at the beach


Now we're really getting to the heart of this post! Going to the beach is one of my absolute favorite things to do, as I grew up in Rhode Island, living the beach bum lifestyle every summer.

I'd suggest getting here in the morning, as we tried to come in the afternoon and parking was kinda crazy. Once we did find a spot, however, it was pretty convenient. It was metered parking, but there's no need to run back to the meter every few hours. You can refill it through an app that you download on your phone. Genius!

We found the vibe of this beach to be really calming. Everything was clean, there were lots of families, and everyone seemed happy to be there, just soaking up the rays and enjoying the day.

Cape May Jersey Shore Beach



Browse the shops


Cape May has such an adorable little shopping area. If you're like me, you'll love browsing the quaint stores selling everything from paper goods, t-shirts, hats, jewelry, and sweets.

Shopping Cape May New Jersey




Eat saltwater taffy


I couldn't resist bringing home a big box of this delicious candy! I'm always looking for saltwater taffy any time I go to any beach town, as it reminds me of summers as a kid.


Candy Cape May New Jersey



Peeping the Victorian Houses


This was definitely one of the most fun and unexpected parts of the trip... so many pretty houses in candy-colored hues with details you could spend hours looking at. It felt like any direction you throw a stone in, you will see a gorgeous Victorian house! We didn't have the time, but I'd love to spend an afternoon just wandering around discovering them.

Victorian Houses Cape May NJ

Cape May New Jersey



Are you planning a vacation to the Jersey Shore or Cape May/ Wildwood any time soon? Hope you have a blast!!

Beach Cape May NJ

Cape May Beaches Jersey Shore

New Jersey Beach Cape May

Cape May Wildwood Guide things to do






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